Environmental degradation and global warming have forced governments to take some harsh decisions in order to contain greenhouse emissions. Through the stricter regulations and legislations, governments hope to drive home the importance of a green movement. For instance, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 or Assembly Bill (AB) 32 passed by the California state government put forward a comprehensive program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources throughout the state. With this law, the government hopes to reduce emissions to 2000 levels by 2010, 1990 levels by 2020, and to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Similar such laws were passed by different states within the United States forcing the IT outsourcing companies to join the green IT bandwagon. Hence, many have started planning for a green datacenter because two of the biggest issues faced by IT organizations are datacenter power and cooling. So what is a green datacenter? A green data center is a repository for the storage, management, and dissemination of data in which the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact.
Datacenter virtualization, datacenter consolidation are some of the means for conserving energy. Green datacenters help companies and organizations to handle computing, network, and storage demands effectively that too at lower energy costs. The following are some facts that might serve as an eye-opener for those companies who are holding back because of the cost to implement a green datacenter. * Datacenters used an estimated 12 billion kilowatt hours of electrical power in the year 2000, expanding to 23 billion in 2005 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) * Air conditioners, power converters and transmission use almost half of the electricity in the datacenter (IDC) * Datacenter energy is estimated to cost higher than equipment costs by 2015 (IDC) * According to Uptime Institute, 60% of the power used to cool equipment in the datacenter is completely wasted (SNIA) * Virtualization and effective power and cooling techniques and best practices can save $700/year/workload (SNIA) * In the storage area, following some best practices such as data consolidation, deduplication, thin provisioning and so on can provide savings upwards of $2250/year/TB of useable data (SNIA) * A one watt reduction in a server component results in a 2.84 cascaded wattage reduction in the datacenter ecosystem (SNIA) * Between 10% and 30% of servers in many datacenters are dead and could be turned off (SNIA)